Let’s face it, we all have stress. Whether it’s work stress, family drama, financial concerns, or wedding planning stress, the effects can be damaging to our health, happiness, and quality of life. Stress can make it hard for you to enjoy the wedding planning process, too, so I’ve put together a few of my favorite stress relievers to help you reduce wedding stress right now.
1. Take a nap
Studies show that even a ten minute nap has a positive effect on mood, physical health, and productivity. Set the alarm on your phone (to a lovely chime that’s different from your morning alarm), curl up with a blanket, and get some zzzzzz. Try a caffeine nap if you’re worried you won’t be able to bounce back from dreamland. (Just be sure to ask your doctor about using caffeine – especially if you’re trying it in a new form.)
2. Meditate – or just shift your focus
Meditation might sound complicated, but anyone can shift focus and remain silent for a few moments. Take some quiet time to clear your mind of worry (and wedding planning), whether you’re seated or lying down. Do some yoga beforehand if it’s something you enjoy, and/or learn some basic yogic breathing techniques, which are really handy for pinch-hitting stress relief.
If meditation still sounds too woo-woo for you, try distracting your stressball mind with sound. One of my favorite instant and passive stress relievers is Calm.com. It’s a free website with music and visuals that even the most tightly wound will find relaxing – and the white noise can help you to focus.
Creative activities like making art, cooking, crafting, dancing, and playing music with your own hands are not only fun, but also effective and generally low-cost stress relievers. It’s a pick your poison situation, though: if you don’t already have an affinity toward a particular creative activity, try out a few until you find something you really enjoy. The key here is that it should be something you like doing and find relaxing – don’t take up knitting a cable sweater as your first project if you haven’t learned the basic knit and purl stitches, or you’ll be tied up in knots before you begin! It also helps if you choose a project that is not wedding-related, so there’s no pressure to create on a deadline.
What else are attendants / bridespeople/ groomspeople for, if not to listen to you gripe about the wedding planning? Surely I jest (a little), but talking through some of the issues – or even just venting about them – can feel like an enormous weight lifted. This is another way in which a wedding planner can help – s/he’s an unbiased listener, and will help find proactive solutions to real planning problems. Journaling can also help, and of course talking to your partner throughout the process of wedding planning is a given. (Not all partners want to hear about the details of the china pattern and color palette, so if your honey falls into that category try sharing more about how you feel.)
5. Take a walk
Play outside – in any weather! Take a walk, go for a hike, find a fitness trail or swings or a jungle gym. It’s free, it’s fun (it’s not that long ago that you used to do it as a kid), and the sun’s vitamin D and the body’s endorphins from movement will instantly improve your mood. Bonus points if you take these breaks together!
For goodness’ sake, if you are feeling overwhelmed about wedding planning, get some help! Whether this means hiring a wedding planner or delegating tasks to willing friends and family, everything from venue scouting to vendor searches and DIY crafting can be done – in full or in part – by someone other than *you*, my dear!
If you’re worried about letting go of certain tasks because you have a particular vision in mind, then pass off the things you’re less concerned about, and ask the assigned person to check back in with you before finalizing anything.
7. Take a break
Wedding planning time consuming and emotional. Take a break from the wedding planning, for a day or a weekend, to experience the non-wedding things in life.
Note: I don’t recommend taking large chunks of time off once you pass the 6-month mark of wedding planning, at least not without a wedding planner to assist with the details and regular check-ins about progress. Scrambling to make last-minute decisions will compound stress and counteract any stress relief achieved from an extended break.
What other methods do you use to reduce wedding stress?